The Sinistral Problem Or Is It?

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Research shows about 10 percent of the population is left-handed. Historically, left handed people were treated as odd unique or even evil to the point of being outcast or in past times killed. One current group of researchers says left handed people are really smart and another says lefties are inclined to be nut jobs.

Before someone goes ballistic, the left-handed thing makes me no difference — I’m simply stating what occurred in the past.

My interest in the left handed thing is from a firearms perspective to include training up, live firing of weapons and skills development, just to name a few salient points. In the past most firearms mechanical designs favored right-handed shooters but this has seen significant change over the last decade as systems and designs morph into platforms more ambidextrous in nature and application.

Why Train?

Because you are left handed and training with your strong hand is a good idea. Then again if you are left handed the opposite hand for you is your right and you should train your right hand to function as well as the left. So in this case, left handed people simply need to do what the majority of the population, should be doing which is training up their left hand. The bottom line for all of us should be to train with both hands together and each hand on its own. Without beating a dead horse I’d point out a wounded agent shooting one handed ended the Miami FBI fight with a revolver — it can happen — it has happened — and you should train for it.

Injury

Left or right makes no difference. Your energy should be expended to train both hands to function the firearms you use. Since we have no way to know what the fight will bring, we’ll need to train for the eventuality we may be injured during the conflict. I’ve been told this is negative thinking which may enforce a losing mindset — could be — but I don’t think so. Another subtle point is: I personally don’t care how good you are, or think you are, you can be hit in a fight. If you are, it will change the dynamics of the fight maybe to include which hand you wind up shooting with.

The Serious Part

A reasonable way to further skills development is to video yourself shooting with both hands. Do the same thing with just your strong hand, watch for hand placement on the handgun.

Next make sure you consistently place your hand the same way on the handgun to insure a solid replicated firing grip of what your strong hand did by itself — only now doing it with the opposite hand. Check to confirm the slide or barrel is a straight extension of your firing hand forearm, making sure to lock the wrist to reduce the muzzle flip. Based on body position (standing or grounded) I’d be sure to put as much body weight behind the handgun as possible. Revolvers are somewhat forgiving in this area, but recoil operated semi-automatics can be and often are sensitive to this.

Recoil operated systems need resistance. In this act of firing one-handed, having body weight behind the pistol provides resistance. Another critical issue is insuring your trigger finger placement is the same one-handed as two-handed. All this should be done slowly to insure it’s done correctly — it’s a lot like a computer — good stuff in, good stuff out.

So check for a correct firing grip, body weight behind the handgun and check that trigger finger placement!

The Fun Part

After doing this training and shooting thing for a few years I think when it comes to opposite hand or injury drill shooting, people won’t do it regularly because they’re not good at it. They won’t practice what they’re not good at because it isn’t fun — it’s not supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to make us more competent, isn’t that the point of all practicing to begin with?

Set reasonable goals and ranges for yourself in the beginning. As far as shooting fast, I could care less, I’d advocate shooting well as soon as possible.

Many fights are won by the last round fired. If the last round is your first round, it’ll make it a much happier day — even if fired left handed!

If you’re left-handed read the whole article again and just exchange the word left for right — it works like that too.

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